Rebecca Klopp: The “Fitness Femme Fatale”
Ironmill first crossed paths with the blonde fitness fatale at Bro’s vs Pro’s in Waterbury Connecticut at Poundstone’s Performance gym this summer. Matched against some of the most muscled and impressive looking professional women athletes ever assembled to compete in a strength/endurance event, the aesthetic looking fitness model seemed to be highly overpowered.
Rebecca was first to go in the deadlift AND the curl event and never looked back as she refused to produce anything but unreachable numbers. The crowd was almost silenced as she fought and kept pushing towards marks everyone thought impossible to match.
Victory was not guaranteed as Rebecca had snarling, motivated pro athletes reaching for her lead with their reputations on the line while competing on a live feed being watched by thousands on RXmuscle.com. Her posted numbers much like Usain Bolt’s gargantuan Olympic lead proved overwhelming as all of the impressive women furled underneath of the weight of the barbells long before Rebecca leaving her to take home the cash and a new found reputation / respect.
It was truly an inspiring underdog moment.
It captured the underdog spirit and everyman (in this case woman) “Rocky” moment of victory and solidified the “Fitness Femme Fatale” as a lethal threat to any contest she enters.
Meet Fitness Model, Business – Owner, MMA Ring girl, Powerlifter, Bro’s vs. Pro’s Champion, Pharmaceutical Rep and NEW IRONMILL ATHLETE:
Where are you currently located? Where do you train at?
I live in a small town in the Poconos called Saylorsburg, PA. I train locally at Elevations and often at home on equipment in my basement. Gotta do what you’ve gotta do to get the workouts in.
How do you normally train yourself given the broad scope of competitions you enter? Powerlifting , Fitness , Figure?
My training and nutrition are designed specifically around my next competition.
Training for performance (Powerlifting) is very different than training for appearance (Physique Competitions like Figure). I cannot effectively do both at the same time, so I must focus on one or the other.
Currently, I’m training for RPS Supreme Iron Warrior Championships in Powerlifting, so my workouts are designed around the 3 powerlifting lifts, with assistance training to fill in the weak spots. I train weights 4 days a week, for an hour, with 5 sets of 5 reps or less per exercise. Cardio is kept only 3 days a week for 30 minutes and always low/no impact. My nutrition is performance based. Carbs are stacked around workouts for maximum strength and recovery. My overall macros (carbs, fat and protein) are in amounts to allow muscle building while keeping bodyfat levels constant. The goal is to be as strong as possible while maintaining my weight class of 132 pounds by not gaining bodyfat.
While training for a Physique or Figure competition, the goal is appearance based, not performance based. I have to sacrifice strength in the pursuit of lower bodyfat or getting “ripped.” My training split is 5 days a week, training each body part one time with 3 to 5 sets in the 8-12 rep range for maximum muscle hypertrophy. Cardio increases each week in both the duration and number of days.
Eventually it’s daily and a second session is added after weights training. Macros are adjusted, specifically carbs. I incorporate carb cycling and reduce my overall carb intake as a competition approaches. The increased cardio and reduced carbs leaves me weaker in the weight room but bodyfat levels decrease. I target about 10% bodyfat for the Figure stage. My weight on the scale is about 122 pounds and the look is very lean with detail. It’s a pretty brutal, high volume training schedule but the nutrition is by far the hardest part. The cravings of a female body at 10% bodyfat can only be understood by those who have been there.
Maintaining dietary compliance is a completely mental game, it requires tremendous discipline to not have a weak moment and say “screw it” and hit the cookie jar.
Tell us a little about your business with your boyfriend Barrett- He’s a big guy!
My business with my boyfriend Barrett is Full Force Fitness and Nutrition. We provide customized nutrition and workouts plans for our clients based on where they are starting from and their goal (loss of 20 pounds of bodyfat for example).
Nutrition is the MOST important part of fat loss and muscle gain, so you don’t need to spend hours a day in the gym, the diet is the key. Our plans are based on macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) which will keep you building/maintaining lean muscle while burning body fat.
The purpose is not just to make the scale go down but to keep lean muscle on your frame. Muscle keeps the metabolism raging and gives a firm, lean physique when you reach your goal weight. Our clients are local and across the country as we train many folks online with great success.
One of the biggest ongoing challenges is to change the mindset that cardio is the best way to lose fat. You cannot out train a poor diet, and cardio is secondary to strength training in terms of transforming your physique. I will continue to lift heavy weights in an effort to show the skeptics, especially females, that strength training is your greatest ally for fat loss, not cardio. Of course proper nutrition is and will always be #1.
Nutrition and the associated training is a detailed science and if you’re busy, it’s great to allow someone to create this for you. Then your job is just to stick to it! We practice what we preach, both of us follow the types of plans we make for our clients, train consistently, and compete in the sports we love.
Barrett is a competitive bodybuilder, and yes he’s a tank. His huge quads are notorious and you only need to see him squat once to know they were hard earned. He’s currently training for NPC Nationals in Atlanta on November 9, 2012.
How did powerlifting come about for you? Best competition lifts?
Everyone assumes it was Barrett’s influence, but quite the opposite. I was working as a ring girl for local MMA events, and one of the other ring girls was competing in an upcoming local RPS Powerlifting Meet. I thought it sounded like something I would enjoy so I trained for only 6 weeks and entered. I loved it and was hooked.
My best powerlifting lifts to date are: squat 265, bench 125, deadlift 310, and a 3 lift total of 700. I compete at 132 pounds in the Raw division.
What do you prefer Powerlifting/Physique competitions? What do you view as the Pro’s and Con’s to training both totally different sports?
Oh man, that’s like asking which child is my favorite! They are so completely opposite with a common thread of the weight room.
Figure is all about stage presence and appearance. The judges don’t know or care how strong you are, just that your physique is balance, symmetrical, and lean. You have to be a complete package and are judged from head to toe. I enjoy the stage and with the performance aspect and being in front of a crowd. The con for Figure is that it’s so subjective. You have to show up on game day having given it your best and know that if you did, that’s a win. If you allow your placings to be your only measure of success it’ll drive you nuts. Also with Figure, the ideal physique is a balancing act, you can’t be “too ripped” or “too muscluar” but also not “too soft” (too much bodyfat) either. I’ve lost to girls who were more ripped than me and I’ve lost to girls that were softer and less muscular than me, and that’s a tough pill to swallow.
For Powerlifting, it’s the complete opposite. No one cares what I look like, just that I lifted the weight. The judging is straight froward and the fastest horse wins, so to speak. Also, the volume of training for Powerlifting is considerably lower and your food intake is higher. The con is that I have to accept my softer, off season Powerlifting body is a stronger body. But hey, there’s something to be said for being fat and happy, right?
You’ve mentioned through conversation you also work fulltime in Pharmaceuticals for the past12 years. How has that effected your stance on health strength if any?
I work in the vaccines division so two things come to mind. First, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Meaning if you take care of yourself through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and make it a lifestyle you can avoid many health problems later in life. Don’t wait until there is illness and expect a pill to cure it.
Second, I’m very data driven. I pretty much don’t believe anything any one tells me or anything an article or a blog claims unless they can site a reputable published scientific study. There are lots of opinions and marketing to selling quick fixes, telling people what they want to hear. Many claims are taken grossly out of context (at best) and with little control of other variables. Their data is crap. I encourage anyone to do their own research before trying the hottest new trend on the market.
If you could give one piece of advice to any of our women athletes/gym go-ers/readers on training/diet what would it be?
Have a specific goal and a plan to achieve it. You must be clear what it is you are trying to achieve or you’ll never accomplish anything. Gyms are full of people who want to “burn calories,” or “lose weight,” or “build muscle.” But once inside the gym many folks have no clue what to do so they hop on an elliptical or bench press and curl every day. No wonder there is frustration and regular exercise seems pointless, you never see any changes or improvement!
I encourage anyone who is serious about getting results to hire a fitness professional. Yes, I have a personal training and nutrition consulting business but I was on the other side of things for years, heck decades. It wasn’t until I hired Barrett (now business partner) to create a nutrition and workout plan for me, that I finally got results.
My body transformed, my strength went through the roof, and a routine annual physical with blood work confirms I’m healthy inside and out. It was the best investment. I’d still be the overweight girl on the elliptical working out sporadically if I hadn’t made the commitment to follow a structured nutrition plan with workouts aligned to my goals.
Name one thing that you do for your training that is different than some would expect?
I can’t remember the last time I trained my abs, yet I have a pretty nice set, not to brag My abs get a sufficient workout during barbell training like squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses and they remain visible because I follow a nutrition plan to keep me lean. I often get asked about doing sit ups or crunches to get rid abdominal fat. My answer is first clean up your diet and second lift some heavy weights. 1,000 sit ups a day isn’t going to give you visible abs, your time is much better spent in the kitchen preparing healthy foods and in the gym doing compound exercises with weights.
Obviously you like to add a feminine touch and sexuality to your look providing your nickname “Fitness Femme Fatale.” Do you feel using a women’s sexuality to help promote the sport (IE – Womens volleyball) draws positive attention and what has been the reaction to you in doing so?
Absolutely positive. I use it in my look partly because that’s me, I love pink and rhinestones and I’m not shy about being on stage in a bikini. But I also love killing it in the weight room, it’s important to show both sides. I post training videos to my YouTube channel FullForceVideo where I look less than glamorous. But I also post a number of pictures of me in a bikini to show that one leads directly to the other. Lifting heavy weights did not make me manly or bulky, it made me tight and small. I want to encourage women (and men!) to join me in getting off the elliptical and picking up some weights.
The reaction is often still a disconnect, people don’t get it. When I first lost 40 pounds by shifting my focus to weights (away from cardio) conversations often went like this. “Wow you lost so much weight, what have you been doing?” I’d answer that I eat lots of healthy foods and I focus on lifting weights. Then the same person would then say “you lift weights, oh gosh, don’t get too big and bulky!” I realize I still have my work cut out for me to dispel the myths of women and weight lifting. But I’ll keep sharing me as best I can, and educate one conversation at a time.
Lastly, I’m a quote guy. What are your favorite current quotes?
I have many! Here are two I really like:
Set your goals high because what a person accomplishes is in proportion to what they attempt. – Mitchell Naufell
What counts in battle is what you do once the pain sets in. – John Short
Fantastic! Thank you so much for your time! We look forward to following your journey!